The other side of the cock.

The train through Kosgoda continues to Galle. A name thought to be derived from the Dutch word for rooster or cock, whichever is easiest. Yes, that place, full of international tourists. That old town that looks like Europe and mostly belongs to foreigners.

Muslim man with a scar on his back at the cricket ground watching the game.
Auto–rickshaw driver having a rest.

Negombo is often referred to as “Little Rome”, on account of having so many churches, but it’s Galle that looks more European in style. Part of the town is surrounded by a fort, which actually ended up protecting this end of the city from the notorious 2004 tsunami. Other places in the southeast and southwest of Sri Lanka were completely wiped out, while Galle stood strong. Well done Portugal and Holland.

Fishermen going out to sea.

Galle’s 16th century Portuguese/Dutch built fort is the city’s one and only attraction. It’s a place for business and business only, the only people who live here are business owners. Everyone arriving to Galle comes to the fort and stays at the fort. Accommodation prices are hiked up for tourists, usually led by touts, and if you don’t accept their offer they often get annoyed. The persistence of touts and shop owners was enough to drive me out of the old town and only to return in the evening for some sightseeing.

Fishermen return after pushing their boat into the sea.
Fishermen are gearing up before they head out to sea.
Fishing boats.

We stayed at a family hotel a few kilometres outside of the old town for its affordable price and had to walk along the seafront back to the fort. However, what sounds painful turned out to be a real joy. Because that walk went through another part of town, as well as fishing villages, markets and parks. Well, I suppose someone has to show the other side of Galle, right?

Weird looking statue of god knows who, nearby Galle fort.
Couples in Sri Lanka are quite discreet. They often find a spot with a good view and sit under an umbrella away from prying eyes, hugging and snogging. Sometimes even having a picnic.
Houses within the fort are now mainly commercial businesses.
The roofs of old Galle are tiled, reminding me of my hometown Tallinn.
View over Galle from the fort.
Show me a place with a more vibrant sunset.